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Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

Hello,

I just recently signed on with ATT and have a GSM phone and I'm not sure if I should keep this service or not. When I signed up with them I didn't know there were 2 different services. I have been having a lot of problems with dropped calls and doesn't seem to be clear. I have a Sony Ericsson T226 phone, could this be the problem?

I used to be with Cingular and had digiital service and had no problems. Has anyone else run into this problem? If so, have you switched back to digital (TDMA) and had better reception?

I'm not sure if I should keep what I have or switch back. Don't know much about the differences in the 2 services so any insight would be greatly appreciate.

Thanks!

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

I have had the exact same problem. I tried an Ericsson and then a Nokia on the GSM network. I travel within the USA and was having problems picking up a signal and dropped calls with the GSM network. I have switched back to CDMA (staying with AT&T) and now have no problems at all. I bought a Nokia 3560-why? Sound clarity, lighted display is easy to read and its small size. If you travel outside the USA very much, then GSM would be handy but if you do not, I suggest you switch back to CDMA.

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Re:Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

Thanks for the post. I have been considering the Ericsson and others, but leary of the GSM network. I am on AT&T with TDMA which works fine, but to switch to GSM... until they are in more areas I will wait. Just like when they went from analog to digital and there was limited coverage with the first digitals.
Thanks again for you input.
Laters...

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Re:Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generati

With TDMA being phased out by many carriers, the choice now will be CDMA and GSM. If you want larger coverage, you should look at CDMA carriers, especially if you live in Verizon Wireless, Alltel, and US Cellular markets and get nationwide service. Most won't charge you on nationwide as long as you're on their network, or roaming on another carrier's network in areas where the 2 carriers have roaming areements. Like me, I travel to Saugatuck Michigan and I live in Gary, IN, and have Verizon Wireless's America's Choice plan. When I go into Michigan, my roaming indicator flashes once I get to the state line, roaming on Alltel's network, but not charged roaming because of the roaming agreement between Alltel and Verizon.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

If you travel outside the US stay with GSM, most use a simm card that can be purchased for the country you're visiting. IF you never plan to leave the US, (pitty, really) than any old TDMA or CDMA phone will work about as well. I've read a lot about poor performance from the sony/ericsson phones. Digital service is hit or miss with all carriers. Same goes with phones.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

TDMA networks like those used by Cingular and ATT are being moved to GSM. I believe all the expansions will take place on GSM networks but the old TDMA networks will stay operational until all areas with TDMA have GSM coverage. IF you just want a phone to talk on and send an occasional text message Either will do. But if you want fancy features like camera phones or RIM Blackberry's you would have to goto GSM or CDMA phones. Just a note abour Sony Ericsson phones. I've had the T68i, 610 and 616 and reception stinks on all 3 even though the 610 and 616 had some killer features. CDMA used by Sprint (yuck) and Verizon are here to stay.

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Re:Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

For all users it would be much better if the operators in this country would decide to go with what already for years have been the Global Standard (GSM = Global System for Mobile Communications). What comes to which phone operates better on a network I do not think that has much with the phone to do at all; the bad experiences are typically related to poorly built networks. All operators active in this country could go study how cellular networks are supposed to be built and operated for instance to Scandinavia and at the same time they could consider some of the pricing policies and marketing strategies used over there. Sony-Ericsson probably offers the best phones out there (GSM) but unfortunately that company has been as poorly managed here in the US as all operators and suffers bad image because of that!

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

I can't prove it but I think AT&T is expanding their GSM Network at the EXPENSE of the TDMA Network. Does it sound plausible that they could delete the numer of TDMA cells and add GSM cells? I suggest this because recently my TDMA service in the Atlanta market has become very poor. I never used to get dropped calls, or 1-way transmission or busies but I get all of them now! The phone (Nokia 8265) "supposedly" has checked out OK and AT&T troubleshooters find no problem on the network. Any thoughts? Is AT&T Wireless pulling a fast one since they are "pushing" the GSM network?

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Re:Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation) Phones/ Service

>>>I can't prove it but I think AT&T is expanding their GSM Network at the EXPENSE of the TDMA Network. Does it sound plausible that they could delete the numer of TDMA cells and add GSM cells? <<<

>>>Any thoughts? Is AT&T Wireless pulling a fast one since they are "pushing" the GSM network? <<<

Here in Minnesota, I have not seen a decline in the quality of TDMA. I have had my AT&T service since January '98, and it now the best that it has ever been. I can't remember the last time that I ran into a dead zone or had a dropped call.

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Re:Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generati

I live in the Chicago Metro area and have been a customer of AT&T for six years. I have seen a recent degredation in my TDMA service. I beleive that their resources (if not their existing cell sites) are being put into their GSM network. After all, look at Cingular. They have stopped selling TDMA in Chicago and only market GSM.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

I've been experiencing the same issues with ATTWS TDMA service w/ my Nokia 8265G here in the Seattle/Puget-Sound area. I too have had thoughts along these lines, and over the past month have experienced a significant decrease of service quality in areas that used to be great. Both ATTWS Technical Support, and ATTWS Warrantee repair have responded to my inquiries with the exact same conclusions you describe.

I specifically asked about TDMA network disintegration or similar, in the interest and focus on GPS/GPRMS next generation network buildup. Wondering if this _could-be_ what's going on...

Will be trying a new TDMA _old-school_service Nokia phone and see how it goes. GSM coverage still has the _suck_ in many greater Seattle areas.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

In reply to: Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

TDMA is getting phased out by all wireless providers. The battle will now be between GSM and CDMA My friend who has AT&T Wireless (TDMA) is already planning to drop the service once the sale to Cingular Wireless is finalized. He's not heard good stuff about them and doesn't want to be a part of their service.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

In reply to: Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

Right now, TDMA has better coverage in the LA area and the Seattle - Tacoma area than GSM. AT&T is pushing the GSM thing hard, but I won't change or go back under a contract until the coverage is there. The best coverage is Verizon, but right now I have a Nationwide no roaming (as long as I am on network) and no long distance, which ATT wouldn't offer me new at the price, and VZ wants more money for. I think the thing to do is ask questions, check the maps and be certain the plan will work for you.

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Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

In reply to: Re:Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation)

That's all you can do is ask questions at each service you're looking at. I looked at every service that was in my area in 2002: Verizon Wireless, Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless, Primeco (now US Cellular, at least in Chicago market), Cellular One (now Cingular Wireless, and Voicestream (now T-Mobile). I didn't like coverage of T-Mobile and plans at the time, and they didn't offer no roaming charges on nationwide at that time. Also it was unlimited weekends and not nights and weekends. That's changed now, but T-Mobile still doesn't meet my needs. Didn't like Cellular One, which has since renamed themselves Cingular Wireless. After hearing my mom and sisters' complaints with the service, they left Cingular after being in the 2 year contract for just 3 months. I looked at AT&T and didn't care for their phone selection nor thei service plans. Primeco had expensive plans and very poor coverage for where I traveled and took a pass. And they refused to get into nights and weekends plans. Verizon Wireless bought most of Primeco, but US Cellular acuired the Chicago market after Verizon already had service in Chicago from the Ameritech Cellular buyout. The choices left were Sprint and Verizon. in 2002 I looked at Sprint at their $35 plan and Verizon's $35 plan. At that time, Sprint only offered 200 minutes for $35 a month and Verizon offered 300 minutes for $35 a month. Also looking at the coverage areas of both services, I decided to go with Verizon Wireless and have been with them for 2 1/2 years. The service has held up very well for me in northern Indiana, Chicago and nearby suburbs, Rockford Illinois, and Milwaukee and Madison Wisconsin. I still look at the other services, including US Cellular, but none of them seem to meet my needs. I'd like to have more anytime minutes and have nights starting at 7pm, but the terms and conditions of other services and hearing complaints of other services keep me at Verizon Wireless. For people I know with Verizon in my area rarely complain about the service, unlike those with AT&T, Cingular, and Sprint. And US Cellular's terms and conditions are what i don't like about their service. Mandating 2 year contracts, poor coverage areas, and if you lose your phone, you get charged the original price of the phone, even if you get a replacement. At least with Verizon, if you lose your phone and don't have insurance, you can get a used phone anywhere and not have to start your contract over. If you look at new and don't have insurance, you'll get hit hard when trying to buy a new phone. I was lucky when i lost my phone and didn't have insurance, there was an "Oops" plan to get a new phone at $80, but as part of the condition of getting that phone, I had to start my contract over. It wasn't the same phone, but at least I got back to using their service again. I should mention I went to Radio Shack to get Verizon Service, and they screwed me over by refusing to offer me insurance for my phone. When I lost my phone, they had the nerve to ask me if I had insurance and I mentioned no. They didn't spend a lot of time on the phone with Verizon and tried to sell me a new Motorola 120c for $200, not counting sales tax, more than srp $179 without plan. I went to another authorized agent who spent more time on the phone with Verizon and that's where I was able to get a new phone. That's why from ym experience to never go to Radio Shack for wireless service again. I'll stick to agents that specialize in wireless phone's only.

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Re: Which is better? TDMA (Digital) or GSM (Next Generation

Check into a triband phone GSM and TDMA there are a few out there.

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Service

I think you need to look at what your needs are. I do not think GSM is where it should be, easpecially with AT&T. Where are you located? If you are not by a major city than i would not suggest going with a GSM phone, seeing as TDMA is going to be the stronger signal. But remember, TDMA is almost extinct and trying to find a decent phone on TDMA is next to impossible. You might want to find a company that is more supportive of TDMA in your area.

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